At Coomera's Dreamworld, the big draws are the "big eight": high-tech thrill rides including the aptly-named Giant Drop, a 120-meter vertical plummet akin to skydiving; the nine-story, 360-degree pendulum swing of Claw; the turbulent Wipeout and screamingly fast, scarily high Tower of Terror; and new Pandamonium, a swinging rickshaw adventure. But it's certainly not all thrills and spills. Take a leisurely walk through Tiger Island where Bengal tigers and their gorgeous cubs swim, play and even let you pet (and feed!) them; or get your picture taken with a cuddly koala in Koala Country. See more than 800 other native animals at conservation-focused on-site Wildlife Sanctuary, cool off in the artificial lagoon, or cruise the park's waterways on a paddle wheeler. Book ahead and you can also try the Flowrider (A$7), an amalgam of surfing and skateboarding. At the end of the day, a guided, two-hour Sunset Safari (A$25) promises close-up encounters with tigers and native wildlife (from 4:45 pm, in season). Beat the queues by buying an Earlybird Pass (A$10 extra, book well ahead) and take advantage of Q4U virtual queueing devices. The park is 45 minutes outside Brisbane and 20-25 minutes from Surfers Paradise along the M1 Pacific Motorway: take Exit 54 at Coomera.
- Address: 1 Dreamworld Pkwy., Coomera, QLD, 4209 | Map It
- Phone: 07/5588–1111; 1800/073–300
- Cost: A$84.99 single entry (online); A$89.99 1-day World Pass (entry to DreamWorld and WhiteWater World); A$99.99 Holiday World Pass (unlimited entry to Dreamworld and WhiteWater World over 21 days)
- Hours: Daily 10–5
- Website: dreamworld.com.au
- Location: Coomera and Oxenford